Sunday, September 27, 2009

Faeries and Gender.

When venturing into the world of faerie god parenting the issue of gender inevitably will pop up. Those who are unfamiliar with the faerie world and the world of storytelling tend to think of a spritely female with wings. This is common but just one of many many forms.  Because of the word Faerie and its heavily feminine connotation people tend to be uneasy when it comes to having Faerie GodSons.

We live in a very gender defined culture where  girls play with dolls and boys play with trucks. Even still it seems more socially acceptable for girls to play with trucks than it is for boys to play with dolls. That being said this project is not about changing your or anyones concept of gender. Those are issues best addressed elsewhere.What this post is primarily about is alleviating some concerns about the male role in these ventures.

In history and folklore almost every culture has had their stories of "little people" or faeries. They come in all shapes and sizes, genders and forms. Some are human in character, some have animal traits.  All you need to do is simply google faerie folklore or even read Shakespeares a Midsummer Nights Dream to see otherwise. Robin Goodfellow (or Puck) is one of my favorite characters of all time!

A good reference when looking for inspiration with boys is Peter Pan. He and the Lost Boys went on so many adventures, and had the help of Tinkerbell. Slaying dragons, going on adventures, playing pirate or showing them magic tricks. Inspiration and imagination is a gender free concept. Every child regardless of whether they are a boy or girl is going to be different. They like different things and different things fascinate them. You need to know what motivates your child and go with it. Whatever their key to the other world is, hand to it them and help them open the door. That ultimately is your job as their Faerie Godparent. 

This also brings up the question about male Faerie Godparents. It may make some guys uncomfortable with calling themselves a Faerie, but I hope if nothing else the above has helped to shed some light and changed some perceptions. If being called a Faerie Godparent or Faerie Godfather still puts you off, you can give yourself an awesome new title like, "Magical Mentor". Nevertheless, the concept is still the same.

Disney movies and modern day fairy tales depict the Faerie Godmother as an older woman who helps a lost girl become a princess. I think it is about high time that changes, don't you? A Faerie Godparent can be anyone you want them to be, and a Faeire GodChild can be anyone you want them to be as well. The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination. 

That is all for this week my fellow Faerie GodParents! Until next week, keep wishing and keep dreaming!